LAX00LA152
LAX00LA152

On April 10, 2000, about 1900 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N6104G, sustained substantial damage when it collided with trees during an aborted landing attempt from Lampson Field, Lakeport, California. Resort Aviation operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and was rented by the pilot. The commercial pilot and three passengers were not injured. The local personal flight departed Lampson Field about 1850, for the purpose of demonstrating takeoffs and landings to the passengers. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate issued on the basis of a Turkish pilot's license. The operator stated that the pilot did not have authorization to fly commercial operations for his own benefit or for the company.

A passenger stated he met the pilot the day before the accident and asked the pilot to rent a fixed wing airplane to take he and his wife flying. The pilot replied he was going flying later and would take them along, but would have to charge them. This flight was in the accident airplane and proved uneventful. The couple returned the next day and decided to fly again, but since darkness was approaching, the pilot suggested they stay in the pattern for touch-and-go landings.

The pilot reported that he completed the touch-and-go, and was approximately 50 to 100 feet in the air, when the engine speed decayed. He verified the fuel selector was on the both position, the mixture was rich, and the carburetor heat was off. He said two attempts to restart the engine were unsuccessful. He put the airplane back onto the runway, but was unable to stop prior to overrunning the runway. The airplane traveled off the airport into a vineyard and collided with trees.

A passenger seated in the left rear seat was a licensed helicopter pilot, but had never flown in a fixed wing airplane. He stated the airplane appeared high on final, like a helicopter preparing for a straight in autorotation. He thought the airplane was not in a position to land and was going to do a low pass. However, he said the airplane touched down, straightened out, lifted off, and then immediately came back down.

In an interview with a Safety Board investigator, one of the passengers stated that he was sitting in the left seat and the pilot was seated in the right seat. The left-seated passenger stated that he had attended a ground school and had about 280 hours flying in airplanes. He said that on the accident approach, the airplane seemed high and the glide path was steep. The airplane touched down past the halfway point on the runway with a hard landing and a bounce. The pilot added power to recover and made a smooth landing on the right side of the runway, and then reduced the power to idle. The passenger noted that he was thrown forward when the pilot braked aggressively. The airplane was beyond the last taxiway intersection and approaching the end of the runway when the pilot increased power and pulled the airplane back into the air. The passenger stated that flaps were still down at this point. The Pilot's Operating Handbook for the Cessna 172N states that flaps should be retracted to 20 degrees immediately upon commencing a balked landing (go around.) The airplane was headed toward tree rows approximately 40 feet apart that ran perpendicular to the flight path. The pilot powered down and turned to land between the trees. The nose gear dug in and separated. Then the right wing tip hit hard and the airplane cartwheeled.

The pilot's medical indicated he weighed 200 pounds. The passengers stated their weights were 210, 170, and 125 pounds. The operator provided a fuel receipt and the flight log to indicate the airplane departed with full fuel (40 gallons). The Federal Aviation Administration accident coordinator estimated the airplane was approximately 27 pounds over certified maximum gross weight at the original takeoff.

On May 25, 2000, a maintenance technician removed the bent propeller and installed a different propeller. He primed the engine and it started on the first turn of the propeller. Due to the landing gear damage, the engine power was limited to 1,200 revolutions per minute. Both magnetos checked normal, carburetor heat and mixture controls functioned properly, and the engine ran smoothly with no vibrations.

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